By Jason KUROSU
NASA’s Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars (or WISH) program selected 84 female high school juniors from across the country to take part in an intensive two-week program this June and July. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the WISH program is geared towards young women interested in future careers in technical fields. Among those students selected was Crescenta Valley High School junior Mithra Bhadha.
“I am really really, really excited to be a part of this program,” Bhadha said, a day away from leaving for NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The selection process began with applications submitted in January and February, followed by eight online interactive lessons spread out over a period of three months. Lastly, each student submitted a final project and through that process, 84 students from 29 states made the cut.
In NASA’s second year with the WISH program, students will be given the opportunity to work with NASA engineers, planning a mission to Mars and building the components necessary for a successful mission, all while working under a fictitious budget. The students will also hear from NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and speak with astronauts on the International Space Station via ham radio.
Bhadha expressed her love for the math and science fields and how she plans to carry that on into her career.
“I have always loved space and the things that we can do in space,” said Bhadha. “Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a rocket scientist or aerospace engineer. I love math and space science, so I find it to be a good mix of both.”